AFC Wimbledon has enjoyed an astonishing rise since starting again in the ninth tier of English football in 2002, and in order to continue that success the club needs a new stadium. The Club wants to allow more people to watch our matches, to improve the matchday experience for supporters and to extend our potential revenue through sponsorship and corporate initiatives.
Towards the end of 2014 the Club prepared its planning application, which was submitted to Merton Council in November. Following a four week period in which the application was ratified and formalised, a registration number for the submission by Galliard Home and AFC Wimbledon was issued and the application made public.
Following the submission the Council ran a statutory consultation process, which included 4,500 letters being delivered by hand to local residents.
During this period, Sadiq Khan - then Member of Parliament for Tooting - wrote to the Club on 19 February 2015 to request a review of the planning application submitted to Merton Council. Read Erik Samuelson's response to this letter.
On 10 December 2015 Merton Council's planning committee unanimously approved the Club's plans to return to its spiritual home on Plough Lane.
On 22 March 2016 the Mayor of London considered a report by the Greater London Authority (GLA) on the planning application. The Mayor decided to call in the application for review.
On 27 July 2016 the new Mayor of London indicated his preference to hand back the decision on the planning application to Merton Council.
On 27 September 2016, following a request from Wandsworth Council for the Department for Communities and Local Government to intervene, the Secretary of State decided not to call in this application. You can read the letter sent to Merton Council explaining this decision.
Throughout 2017 the Club and its partners worked tirelessly to secure the relevant legal agreements. On 13 December 2017 the Club announced that the Section 106 agreement had been signed by the Club, Merton Council and GRA Acquisitions, ensuring that the next phase of the project could go ahead.
"Everybody who has helped the Club to reach this point must be very proud" - Erik Samuelson, Chief Executive
What does the plan include?
The Club is seeking to build a 20,000-seater stadium with an initial capacity of 11,000.
The plans include provision for 602 residential units, along with retail space and a squash and fitness club. The plan aims to cater for growing support as Wimbledon progress up the Football League, and would also revitalise this part of Merton by bringing more jobs and adding community facilities for local residents.
You can still view the online version of the Club's stadium manifesto, which was handed out to supporters and submitted to the Merton Council as part of its 'call for sites' process.
The document summarises the business plan that was posted on the Council's website and sets out the main reasons why the Club has sought a return to its home borough, including the benefits we believe we will bring to the community by doing so.
Since then, the club has staged several public exhibitions of its stadium proposals, providing a transparent process for supporters and members of the community to provide their thoughts and comments. During this process 3,041 people commented on the proposals with 84 per cent supporting them.